Operation In A Closed Case
We use a mid-sized Chieftec LF-01B chassis for our closed-case temperature benchmarks. We wanted a smaller enclosure, which should amplify potential heat problems caused by Gigabyte's card. We benchmarked with and without the case fan, but always left the CPU fan running.
|Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock|
|Processor||Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Overclocked to 4.5 GHz|
|Cooler||Deepcool Gammax 400|
|Memory||2 x 4 GB Kingston Value DDR3-1333|
|Mother Board||Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3|
|Power Supply||Chieftec Nitro 2 550 Watt|
|Front Case Fan||800 RPM (Low-Voltage)|
|Top Case Fan||Not Active|
|Back Case Fan||800 RPM (Low-Voltage)|
|Optional Side Case Fan||1. Measured without Fan2. Measured with Fan|
|Operating System and Driver||Windows 7 Ultimate x64Catalyst 12.6 WHQL|
|Test Software||FurMark, OCCT|
First, we benchmarked without case's side fan in place. We didn’t see any impact on CPU temperature, though temperatures inside the chassis increased very slowly. Within the first 30 minutes, the side of the case (with its two small 120 mm openings) got quite warm.
We applied 7 V to a small, quiet case fan, and that was enough to keep the side of the chassis cooler (it sat at 35 degrees Celsius after 30 minutes). The interior case temperature increased by six degrees Celsius from our 22 degrees Celsius room temperature to 28 degrees.
Not only is this acceptable, but it's comparable to coolers employing direct heat exhaust. The only caveat is that, of course, you need a chassis with ventilation on the side. Something like Enermax's Fulmo GT, with its huge side opening, would be ideal, even without a side fan.
Once again, the video shows Gigabyte's Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock under the full load of FurMark. The noise level is a little lower in the closed case, side opening or not.
The case doesn’t manage to reduce the noise level by much, but at least it changes its tone a bit to sound deeper. The cooling implementation works really well at these noise levels, making overclocking a breeze.